The President of New York City’s Brooklyn Borough has urged “all men who have intimate contact with other men get vaccinated” for meningitis.
A deadly strain of bacterial meningitis that is reportedly spread through sexual encounters between men who meet through websites, iPhone applications, or bars has killed seven people in New York and sickened 22 others.
According to ABC News, “more than half of the infected men have had HIV, a virus that attacks the immune system making infections more likely and more severe.”
City health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said “vaccination is the best defense” because the bacterial infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can cause fever, headaches, vomiting, stiff neck, and a rash within 10 days of the infection. The infection “can cause brain damage and even death,” if left untreated.
The disease is reportedly spread through “prolonged close contact with nose or throat discharges from an infected person,” and men from all five boroughs that had been infected will not comment “on the kinds of websites or apps” they used to have their sexual encounters with other men.